It was lights, camera and action as a videographer for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) traveled across eastern South Dakota. Hosted by the Rural Electric Economic Development, Inc. (REED) Fund, video interviews documented the businesses and partners that make REED’s revolving loan fund such a success.
A stop on the tour included Dakota Style, a home grown business located by Clark, SD. Dakota Style started making their own potato chips 25 years ago and has expanded into sunflower seeds and salad toppers. When progress led to a large national contract, they needed space for packaging equipment and storage for shipment.
USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks states, “Dakota Style has been an amazing business for South Dakota and has contributed to the local economy by creating jobs and producing a very good value added product. This is a great example of a community development financial institution (REED) and a federal agency working together to create jobs and add to the rural economy.” Through the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), REED assisted the business with financing for the equipment to package the sunflower seeds.
“USDA’s funding through the IRP and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program has made an impact in the communities we serve” states, REED Economic Development Manager, Linda Salmonson. “It is through the partnerships with the area development corporations, cooperatives, such as the Codington Clark Electric, and state and federal agencies, that businesses are created and expanded.”
Dakota Style has retained 17 jobs and six have been created with the expansion.
USDA Rural Development REDLG program promotes rural economic development and job creation projects. Assistance provided to rural areas, as defined, under this program may include business startup costs, business expansion, business incubators, technical assistance feasibility studies, advanced telecommunications services and computer networks for medical, educational, and job training services and community facilities projects for economic development.